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Guy in a fez with a monkey

Brandon Hodge's page

Contributor. RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter, 8 Season Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 926 posts (992 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 1 alias.


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Phylotus wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Phylotus wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
See above. If you put the +2 in Con rather than what you'd expect (his casting stat), it comes out to 20 PB.
Ok, with that though how does he end up at 26 Charisma at 18th level? Even with the +4 from levels, I'm only counting a 24 by that point

...Hrm. Good catch.

Yeah, f@@! if I know then.

Brandon Hodge, your weighing in on this quandary would be much appreciated :-)

OK. I hope this doesn't get me in trouble with Liz, buuuuuut since we're talking about the old statblock and not necessarily how you'd build yours, I'll say two things:

1. These stats are slightly developed from my original turnover, which started with the heroic array adjusted for age category and spell use [see below]. But after edits, they don't match, so I don't really know any more than you do, BUT...

2. It turns out miracle works...well, miracles. My original turnover has a note that through the use of the spell Rasputin permanently boosted his Con by +4. I imagine the Rob or Adam may have used a similar tactic in development, though I cannot confirm nor deny that because I seriously don't know.

Make of that what you will!

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j b 200 wrote:
I have to say, the stitched soul ability is awesome. Who ever came up with that must have been cackling all day after writing it up.

All day? Hell, I still chuckle every time I think of the looks of despair on the faces of PCs, once smug in their falsely-assumed victories, when Rasputin returns to life. It's what I wake up for in the morning! ;-)

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Fromper wrote:
Another thing I did, to keep things moving along faster, was to have them each roll 40 or 50 d20s and write down the results on a single sheet for me. I recorded their bonuses to init, will, perception, and whatever else I thought might come up (don't remember now - it was a year ago). That way, I didn't have to slow the haunt action to have them make the rolls - I just checked my page and crossed off the next number as it was used.

This is my FAVORITE gamplay-smoothing tactic for any game, and I highly recommend doing this, haunts or not. PCs get to have their own rolls used, and GMs can glide smoothly through Perception checks and subtle saving throws without messing up the narrative flow. Works particularly well for haunts, too!

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My favorite occult antagonists are humans, personally. There's no greater horror than what man's own mind and machinations can create, and all that. Especially when someone gets in over their head with powers with which they should not be trifling, which brings me to:

The subtler devils and daemons. The possessive sort, if you get my drift, which leads right back up to my primary preferred antagonists.

I [obviously] enjoy liberal use of ghosts, spirits, haunts, and poltergeists, and the new medium and spiritualist classes open up a whole new world of antagonists who play with the spectral sort of entity.

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Since no one else has mentioned it, the rules for haunt interaction were modified in Occult Adventures to include those otherwise immune to their effects so they can still experience them. And there are some other goodies there as well. Check out that chapter!

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9mm wrote:
never said it was true, all I said is just because Brandon doesn't agree doesn't mean people can't be disappointed at a grand total of 9 class agnostic feats; and if that's what they think, they should say so. The by-line matters.

You can be as disappointed as you like, 9mm. Like anyone, you're entitled to your opinion, and free to express it. I'm just trying to keep everyone honest.

But that isn't the issue. The issue is you stating your opinion with the assumption that everyone else will share it--that if something doesn't suite you, it won't suite anyone else--and that's where you're wrong, as a host of positive comments here and reviews both good and bad demonstrate. There's material in this book suited for a wide range of playstyles--just because it isn't to your taste doesn't mean others "probably won't" find something suited to their own enjoyment. Heck--even Scavion, whose comments parked my response, found a few gems, and that's great, even if I don't agree with his misleading assertion that a book with 100+ pages of new class content for players is "geared more towards DMs."

You've essentially said "I bought this box of 64 crayons and didn't like any of the colors, and you probably won't either." That's just...well...the essence of hyperbole.

Also note your feat count for non-occult classes is way off.

EDIT: Kinda awesome to see someone post while I was replaying about how they liked every color in the box of crayons.

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9mm wrote:
Brandon Hodge wrote:
So with 24 feats, 22 archetypes, 56 spells, piles of rituals, pages worth of skill unlocks, chakra unlocks usuable by non-psychic classes right now, and nearly 100 new magic items, saying "very few feats and other options to consider for a character already built" is disingenuous at best, and at worst threatens to turn away those who are otherwise enthusiastic about the content but being giving the wrong impression that they won't find anything useful. Just because you didn't find anything useful doesn't mean someone else won't.
Quantity does not equal quality; and people have gotten really good at shifting through the junk to get to the gold. it isn't disingenuous at all to say " I found nothing, and you probably won't either"

Given the incredibly huge range of tastes and interests in the gaming community, such blanket statements are the very definition of disingenuous.

The statement should end at "I found nothing [for me]." Everything afterward is false assumption and hyperbole.

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Sorry I pointed you out/quoted you directly, Sarisan. You just happened to be the one closest in-thread to express that sort of sentiment, and glad to hear the book's good outweighs the bad for you. I mostly posted for the benefit of those that might be left with the impression that there's no new content for their current characters, as other reviewers have engaged in even worse hyperbole for non-occult classes that's off-putting at best:

Beckett wrote:
It's also disappointing just how little it seems to focus on playing "occult" games outside of the new classes, and offers rather little for everyone else...
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Almost nothing for the old character classes.
Beckett wrote:
If you wanted more options for non-"occult" characters, it's really not for you (0-1 star).

This sort of talk isn't helpful for anyone, of course, and, as the numbers demonstrate, sure as hell isn't accurate. As Third Mind says above, not everything's for everyone, but that doesn't mean that a turn-off for one person isn't an exciting prospect for someone else...

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I know the conversation's moved a little past this, but I wanted to address comments like this one:

Scavion wrote:
My beef with the book is that it offers little to nothing for existing material to be used with. Very few feats and other options to consider for a character already built.

That lead to comments like this one:

Bloodrealm wrote:
All I'm seeing is complaints of everything in the book being incredibly underpowered and worthless, if flavourful, to the point where it's probably not worth the flavour to be so worthless. It's really killing my interest...

And provide some numbers I looked up on my flight home from GenCon, my contributor copy in hand.

While it's true that new classes and their archetypes take up just shy of 100 pages of this 260+ page book, and only 24 of the 68 feats are for general use by other classes, that dismisses the incredible amount of content for use by all classes that are in this book's pages.

For old classes, there are 22 new archetypes.

There's 113 new spells, and 56 (almost exactly half) are usable by non-occult spellcasting classes. The new occult rules chapter is 21 pages of auras, chakras, psychic dueling, possession, and rituals that are usable by all classes. AND there's the occult skill unlocks, which with 1 feat (Psychic Sensitivity) open up a whole new world of abilities for anyone who qualifies and wants to buy their way into occult abilities, any class at any level.

The Running an Occult Game chapter is 27 pages of great advice for running occult games with or without the new classes, and includes new rules for haunts, loci spirits, planar explorations, etc.

And of the 21 pages of new magic items, totaling 104 new items, only 11 are occult-class specific, leaving 93 occult-themed items there for the taking!

So with 24 feats, 22 archetypes, 56 spells, piles of rituals, pages worth of skill unlocks, chakra unlocks usuable by non-psychic classes right now, and nearly 100 new magic items, saying "very few feats and other options to consider for a character already built" is disingenuous at best, and at worst threatens to turn away those who are otherwise enthusiastic about the content but being giving the wrong impression that they won't find anything useful. Just because you didn't find anything useful doesn't mean someone else won't.

Ravingdork wrote:
I really list this book for the most part. Pyschic and occult stuff isn't really my cup of tea, but man does the content in this book stand out. It's so new, so different, it's kind of refreshing.

*fistbump*

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If anyone'd asked me there might have been! ;-)

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Brandon Hodge wrote:
Please please pretty please folks can we move the deep mechanical kineticist discussions over to the Kineticist Preview Thread as we asked previously? Thanks!

Is there really just no hope of you folks taking the deep mechanical kineticist talk and build breakdowns elsewhere? Follow the link above and argue to your hearts' content. Start a new thread. Please just do something other than arguing with one another over the deeper intricacies of the kineticist class. It is a significant and undoubtedly popular part of this book, but also only a fraction of the content. Your argument has dominated the discussion and drowned out other topics of interest, and there are other avenues and forums on these boards to have those debates. Please. Mark will answer you there as well as he has here. He promises! :-)

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Please please pretty please folks can we move the deep mechanical kineticist discussions over to the Kineticist Preview Thread as we asked previously? Thanks!

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Fourshadow wrote:
Brandon, Stephen and you actually did some design/development of this book here in Tulsa?!

We most certainly did! We became cellar dwellers for several days and hashed out a lot of the concepts from the initial outline Erik and I had put together, and took the first steps toward making a thick stack of wild esoteric ideas a developmental reality. We had a blast camping out with the material and brainstorming, and that Tulsa trip was a high point of my creative endeavors thus far!

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See? Speak of the devil and he appears!

(Ben likely has a ritual for that, too)

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Jack of Dust wrote:
Brew Bird wrote:
So a bad-touch class that uses ectoplasmic tentacles to deliver said bad touch? Ok. Just making sure I'm understanding that right.
the Succubus thread is gonna have a field day with this....

Ooooo crap. What have I created??? *facepalm*

The Ectoplasmatist started life as a full base class meant to fill two niches in the book: our soulknife equivalent, and the rogue/cleric equivalent to the magus' fighter/wizard makeup. I handed that class document over to Stephen in Tulsa last year, in the dark corner of a seedy tavern where we sat drinking beers and discussing the occult. Over time, the original concept got pulled apart into two entities, with a few of its abilities drawn into what's now the Spiritualist, and the rest landing as an archetype for that class more in line with the original concept of this raw ectoplasm-wielder. And I think both work beautifully!

Shadow_Charlatan wrote:

Any hints on the type of rituals that are available in OA ?

Do they mostly just provide personal effects or do they range to something like Guards and Wards where they protect large areas ?

What determines the power level of rituals ?

I think there was discussion of this upthread already, but there are 14 occult rituals plus rules for running and creating them. Effects include warding areas and structures, creating a gate to the dream realm, a séance, community blessings (healthy crops, bonus to saves and healing, etc), creating a magic circle for trapping outsiders, creating a rift to the Ethereal, channeling the voice of spirit to commune with it, a blood-brothers type bonding/binding ritual for groups that provides some neat bonuses to draw upon, a ritual that opens the third eye to provide psychic abilities to all involved casters, group bonuses versus psychic effects, an exorcism, a ritual that allows you to visit the Astral, and one for summoning incorporeal undead servants.

The power level is determined by its assigned level, which is like a spell.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
I was able to put together an occult one-shot for Paizocon that even Brandon thought was super-cool. So that's one testimonial from a former hadn't-run-occult GM: This section helped me run an awesome occult game!

That wasn't a game, Mark--that was a frikkin' work of art.

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QuidEst, I want to play a magus-like character that channels spells through weapons in new and interesting ways. What are the pros and cons of the mindblade magus archetype versus the ectoplasmatist spiritualist archetype?

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Is there any way this conversation can maybe be moved over to the Kineticist Preview Thread, Goblinsauraus (and other folks)? I love a good in-depth mechanical discussion as much as the next guy, but the kineticist talk has already far outweighed any other topic in this thread, and there are now some other forum options for you folks to discuss the intricacies of the class now without drowning out the more general discussion of Occult Adventures in this thread. Please?

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Dexion1619 wrote:

I hate the fact I have to indirectly choose between buying this book right away and getting broken fingers. Can't get the book and armored gloves this month.

Is that what you want Mark? Do you want my fingers broken in a terrible sword fighting accedent? I see now you're really a terrible person.

We specifically discussed this scenario during development in hopes of forcing these hard decisions. Our channels of power with Oress grow with each broken digit.

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Devilkiller wrote:
If troops can't be just a template I hope that Paizo not only provides some easy to use rules for building your own troops but includes lots of different pre-built troops in some future products.

I have been trying to persuade the powers-that-be at Paizo to pull the trigger on the Armies of Golarion book for at least a couple of years now, and lobbied hard for their inclusion in some of the bestiaries. There is certainly interest, so keep beating the war drums and voicing your support if you want to see it happen, because I'm ready!

Hint hint: GenCon makes for the perfect venue to voice such support for future products!

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QuidEst wrote:
Anybody (devs too if they want!) feel like sharing stuff they really loved?

Mr. Brookes already covered one of the most awesome aspects of this book, and that was the unparalleled collaboration between all the teams. We had a blast talking about real-world mysticism and debating esoteric topics, and putting our heads together to bring those concepts to the gametable. Erik and I had about a year of bouncing this totally bizarre, gonzo stuff between us that we obsess over in real-life, wondering how in the world all this was going to manifest in a hardcover. But finally bringing the developers in was like watching the slo-mo walk of career badasses in Reservoir Dogs--they arrived to get. it. done. Then they called in the freelancers they knew got what we were doing and it was just about the most crack operation I've seen in RPG publishing.

But you're talking about materials, aren't you? =-)

I'm primarily an adventure writer, so being able to indulge in some class design was awesome. I mentioned upthread, but I'm really proud of the ectoplasmatist, which started life as a base class but works even better as a spiritualist archetype. Being able to apply esoteric concepts I research in the real world, like phrenology, and figuring out how to apply them to classes like bards (with the phrenologist archetype) was a ball. And as someone who spends a *lot* of time researching fraudulent mediums, figuring out how rogues could pull off all those crazy seance tricks with the fraudulent medium archetype was a lot of fun.

When the promethean alchemist and tome eater and reanimated medium archetypes came to the table from the others, I was floored. They're so cool.

Similarly, bringing real-world spells to life was awesome. Ben McFarland is the master of incantations, and I think you guys are going to love his rituals section, and they are sure to get your PCs in all kinds of trouble. Rituals you can perform without having to be a spellcaster-as-a-prerequisite is a design space that was sorely needed in our game. We also got to play around a lot with ectoplasm, and making sure those spells were more than just "he slimed me" was an important goal for this book, and I'm pretty pleased with the results.

I'm THRILLED with the new possession rules/spell/abilities. I always had big issues with magic jar and the design team knocked this one out of the park.

The haunts section is going to clarify a LOT of questions people have had on the threads for the last few years, and give them some new goodies to play with as well, so I was glad to see that stuff make it into a hardcover.

Personally, the Occult Skill Unlocks are one of my prouder moments. I had conceived of those well before similar concept sprang up in Unchained and was scared to death things wouldn't be compatible, but they totally made the cut, and really open up these strange esoteric concepts to any PC, at a relatively low costs, so it's one of those things that I'm really proud to have brought to the table so players can experience this stuff even if they aren't totally on board running a psychic or mesmerist or something.

And lastly, I know these chapters don't get much love compared to sexy new classes and nifty new magic items and spells, but the Running an Occult Campaign chapter is essential reading for those interested in introducing these concepts into their games in a satisfying and properly-thematic way. I am really proud of the work Steven Townshend, Thomas Reid, Thursty, and myself did on that chapter, and I hope its lessons don't go unrecognized in the glare of all the new bright-and-shiny stuff in other chapters.

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Chad Hale wrote:
So, how is Rivani doing what she does in the artwork?

I'd like to note that Rivani's backstory already accounts for the psychic being capable of feats well beyond her established abilities, as the events of the Trial of the White Lotus revealed. According to the 1st-level statblock, she can't read the most guarded thoughts of a court chamber packed with monks and advisers either.

In other news for the non-PFS crowd, there's always this 0-level 3PP spell that will be right at home on the psychic spell list, and help bring this ability to life.

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QuidEst wrote:
What do the different Archmage spirits do? What sort of Trickster options are there? Just some stand-out cool stuff- I'm very curious.

The archmage spirit provides an expanded arcane spell list and casting ability to the medium, and a boon to increase damage of offensive spells. You become more frail, but can trade points of influence to cast spells without expending slots as you grow in power.

The trickster provides delicious bonuses to Dex-based abilities and skills, even while you become something of a loner that is harder to target with spells as an ally. You gain the ability to deal precision damage, and as you gain in power you can steal spells affecting other creatures, modify d20 rolls, and even change form to mimic someone else!

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Mar Nakrum wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Mar Nakrum wrote:
Brandon Hodge wrote:


King is not one of Erasmus' 6 spirits.
And yet, the flavor text on page 9 of OA would suggest otherwise.
In fact, a medium can contact many spirits of each legend (unless they are a relic channeler), so I think what Brandon means is that King isn't one of Erasmus's "first contact" spirits for any of the six legends.
True, it was his seventh!

Yeah--sorry! What I meant by that comment was King was not part of Erasmus's "original suite" of six spirits, who were all represented by deceased family members in the background. Particularly since the story was written with that flavor text in mind!

If it hasn't already been noted, notice how the original six not only conform to the 6 spirit types as far as classes and abilities, but also how the locations of their deaths correspond to the seance locations in the class abilities!

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Rothmog wrote:
Anyone able to give a general overview of the Relic Hunter archetype for the inquisitor? What it gives up and what it gets in return.

One of mine!

The relic hunter archetype represents a major thematic shift for the Inquisitor, with a hefty trade-in of abilities. The Relic Hunter swaps judgments to gain the ability to draw power from holy relics, essentially gaining the Occultist implements class feature with a more limited level progression. This also limits their usual spellcasting abilities to the schools of magics tied to their chosen class of relics.

They also trade in their domain and bane abilities to gain the Occultist's mental focus and focus power class abilities, so all those delicious new class abilities work right!

If you want to be that guy who hoists aloft the skull of your god's most revered saint while blasting your enemies with power, wades through combat with a blessed and smoking censer to grant your allies new power, or draw from the holiness of a tattered shroud emblazoned with the scorched image of your deity to protect yourself from harm, this is the class for you!

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Even though I know this book inside and out and spent the weekend with a physical copy last month, watching everyone's excitement as they discover what's inside is really awesome and immensely entertaining!

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Dragon78 wrote:
Is there any reason they called the spirit "King"?

While noting to readers that "they" here refers to the real-world Spiritualists noted in my comment above, and not specifically Erasmus's mysterious friend from a nearby asylum cell:

Historically, "King" was "King No. 1": the head spirit of a band of similarly-named spirits (King No. 1, King No. 2, etc) who initially appeared at the seances held in the Koons spirit room in the 1850s, it eventually came out that "King No. 1" was actually the ghost of a spirit calling himself John King, who was in life actually named Henry Owen Morgan: aka Captain Morgan, the Welsh buccaneer who later loaned his name to a popular brand of rum.

From the Koons spirit room, John King would go on to have an incredibly busy afterlife, serving as a spirit guide to famous mediums such as the Davenport Brothers, Mrs. Guppy, William Eglinton, Nelson Holmes, Georgina Houghton, W.T. Stead, and one of my favorite spirit trumpet mediums, Etta Wriedt.

Famously, Eusapia Paladino made much use of King, Madame Blavatsky was well-acquainted with him (and some Theosophists suggested the famous Master Mahatma Koot Hoomi was a guise of King) and, above all, the medium Florence Cook summoned not only John King, but even more famously, his daughter Katie King, in a series of manifestations séances presided over by the famed scientist Sir William Crookes, in what are perhaps some of the most sensational and well-documented physical séances in history (if ever there was a real-life example of the Spiritualist class!).

Less famously, famed pirate-themed restaurant and nightclub owner (and the man credited with inventing the modern "night club") Don Dickerson, who owned clubs with Bod Hope, Errol Flynn, and other Hollywood luminaries, AND who consulted the Ouija board daily, communicated with John King regularly. You may or may not be surprised to learn that I own the original séance transcripts of Don Dickerson, where he carries on the tradition of communion with the spirit of John King over the course of several decades of his life.

If there's ever a spirit that needed its own biography...

Now, does all that have ANYTHING to do with Erasmus? Probably not, but what do you think?

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Not a bad theory!

It is interesting to note that spirits named "King" have a long and storied history in Modern American Spiritualism, from his first appearance in Koons' "Spirit Room" in the 1850s in Ohio, to the Davenport Brothers, Florence Cook, Helena Blavatsky, and beyond.

Shout out, or something deeper? I'll let you guys keep pondering. =-)

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The black raven wrote:

Is the King named Harum ? ;-)

Erasmus' 6 spirits :

- King ??? = Guardian ?

King is not one of Erasmus' 6 spirits. The Guardian is his deceased cousin, who was protecting his uncle when he died.

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Barachiel Shina wrote:
Would love to play a Soulknife in it one day.

You're going to want to keep an eye out for the Ectoplasmatist archetype...

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the xiao wrote:
Are his eyes yellow!?!?!?

Well he's possessed, you see...

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Cthulhudrew wrote:
I kind of find it amusing that- given some of the commentary about the iconics always having tragic family backgrounds- Erasmus' story takes it to the extreme. :D

Several of the comments for Rivani's background were like "Oh finally an iconic with a pretty positive background that isn't a tragic setup for vengeance or redemption!" and all I could do was loosen my tie and these "Sheeeeesh wait until you see the dark places I went with Erasmus!"

Thanks for the kind words, folks! This one wraps up my tenure on iconics for this book, and I was honored and thrilled to not only have that opportunity, but to help bring Wayne's amazing art and Jason, Mark, Logan, and Stephen's incredible new classes to life!

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ShepherdGunn wrote:

My wife is in the process of making a game where the focus is the apotheosis of one of the players becoming a new god of dreams in the campaign world. I noticed there's talk about the Dream Realm. Do we know if there is going to be anything like a Dream, Occult, or Psychic domain for clerics? Also, I found the occult mystery, is there going to be a dream mystery, or similar for both the oracle and shaman?

I have convinced my wife to hold off running the game, until the OA book comes out. I just can't wait for this book.

You might want to wait a little longer until House on Hook Street comes out, too!

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Miracle spell works miracles.

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Pair the Dancing Girl with the spectre from Heroes & Monsters, an air or water elemental from the Shattered Star series, or the promotional shadowfire elemental and you have yourself a world-class pairing of a spiritualist with her ectoplasmic phantom companion!

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Heh. You know, I *keep trying* to get the base troop statblock into a Bestiary. I think you guys need to show up en masse at GenCon with torches and pitchforks and corner the powers-that-be if you want to see it!

Right now, you can build the statblock from scratch using the monster creation charts in the bestiaries, just like you're building any other creature. Don't get hung up on the fact that it's a group of smaller creatures--just build the creature appropriate for CR, like you're building a giant or something, and use the RMD statblock as a guide to give it abilities like ranged attacks, etc. Keep in mind that the sum is almost always LESS than the total of its parts. After all, if you actually individually rolled attacks and damage for a thousand rat statblocks that are actually in a swarm instead of relying on the adjusted numbers from the swarm statblock, you'd turn a 10th-level PC into a bloody skeleton in a single round. Just roll with the numbers right of the monster creation charts, and apply the subtype when you're done! =-)

Most troops of regular humanoid type creatures are in the 8-12 hit dice range. I haven't really branched out into statblocks of creatures more powerful than, say, humans, goblins, orcs, skeletons, zombies, and lemures, but you could do it for anything, really. It just scales up quick, so I try to reserve it for lower-CR basic creatures to keep them relevant at higher levels as groups of mooks.

ALSO: My friend Charlie Bell wrote several troop statblocks for his "Armies of Cheliax" article in Wayfinder #11. Look it up--he rocked it. I had a chance to review it when he was working on it, and he absolutely nailed it. That gives you a few more statblocks at your disposal.

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That's incorrect, DMW. Due to a class with 54 spirits taking up a huge chunk of the book's wordcount, the number of spirits was scaled down to 6, which each one representing an embodiment of classic heroic archetypes (small "a") which correspond to the six mythic tiers. Jason stated they promise to find a home for the 54 in a future product!

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For the sake of clarity here, I was actually the one that uttered the Occult Bestiary "spoiler" at that seminar, and I was in fact referring to a book that had already been announced: Occult Bestiary, which will be harboring a lot of the creatures cut from Occult Adventures.

Erik and Jason just forgot the book had already been announced, thus the initial confusion...

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So glad to see you join the fold, Amanda!

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Hey folks!

Since the update, it appears the keyword search for the PRD has stopped functioning, and the only search results it returns is "Your search didn't match any items." The result is the same regardless of which part of the site the search is initiated from.

Just letting you know!

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There ya go Marc just volunteered! ;-)

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Richard, how exactly does one vocalize the noise "m'nar"?

It starts with more of a capital, stentorian "M," short and clipped and popped off the lips with a slightly elevated pitch, followed by a sleazy, drawling exhalation of the "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaar!" (rhymes with car), all done in a 'where the hell is the British backwater this is guy from anyway?' accent.

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Excited to see you join the crew, Linda!!!

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Show them your wreath, Thursty! I mean "WRATH." Yes. Wrath. Not "wreath." That would just be ridiculous.

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Jcat wrote:
He's going to be playing an American Gunslinger. Thank you for your help guys. :)

If he's playing a gunslinger from Earth, I think a magic item shortage for the PC is the last of your problems. The adventure is lousy with machine guns, mortars, grenades, flamethrowers, and practically unlimited ammunition. Jus' sayin'. =-)

PS: But just to review, the pale snipers in G1 have 3 +1 rifles and one has a sniper's helmet, the four C3 locations each have a Maxim of suppressive fire, Lavrenti in E2 has 6 dimensional grenades, a +2 Nagant M1895 revolver, a belt of incredible dexterity +4 , and some other goodies. There is PLENTY in there to outfit an enterprising gunslinger.

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Ashram wrote:
And even then, with your spreadsheets you STILL get math wrong that the players have to fix. Sometimes automating something isn't always a good thing. >.>

Are you suggesting it would be *better* if Paizo didn't have those checks and safeguards in place? Because if you think you've got problems now...

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From a freelancer's perspective, it's actually quite the opposite, and a far cry from "slap a class, rinse and repeat" or "less involved" than our usual Bestiary work.

In fact, I know myself and many freelancers prefer to build from the ground up.

That's because building a monster with NPC classes is actually twice the effort. Even pre-existing monsters have to be plugged into the in-house Paizo statblock spreadsheet, so you essentially have to rebuild the monster from the ground up anyway, even if the info is already published in the base statblock.

Then you have to apply NPC levels, and make sure you use all the proper advancement rules and get the right Key Classes and, in the case of monsters with pre-existing spellcasting abilities, make sure that everything lines up and gels just so. Skills are always confusing, too. It's actually one of the less pleasant freelancing tasks, and I much prefer to build a monster from the ground up than modify an existing one. And it's twice the workload on the development side, too--the developers have to make sure the freelancer plugged in the base monster correctly, AND applied the class levels properly.

I know that's not how we all do it at home, but when you're building a book to be published, from both the freelancer and design team perspective, it's hardly a matter of 'just slapping a few class levels on 'em' and sending them off to the printer.

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I was wrong. It's more of an art than a skill, really.

Think of it this way, folks.

It's as if Paizo announced a book called "Victorian Pulp Adventures," and a thread pops up proclaiming "Steampunk Coming to Pathfinder!"

Despite the designer's best efforts to clarify that the book isn't, in fact, drawing from the steampunk genre: "We won't be doing clockwork men, but you might get Frankenstein. Steam-power and gears won't really be a thing, but vril might! You won't be seeing monocled villains in gear-festoooned top hats and soot-covered goggles with crazy steam cannons in airships, but you might get some From Hell-inspired secret society intrigue!" people still persist:

"So, steampunk, right?"

And no. That would not be accurate. To really push down this yellow brick road, "psionics" are analogous to "steampunk" in this conception (it's a later sci-fi interpretation of a previous historical period's beliefs), and we're going the other way, thanks, and hopscotching one genre to get at the root. *Not that there's anything wrong with steampunk or psionics, mind you.*

Related genres? Yes? Some of the same basic elements, used different ways? Yes. Two different wellsprings of inspiration, even if one is inspired by the other? Yes. Yes. Yes. Exactly.

***Please note this is an analogy, and this analogy should not be overly-construed to mean that Occult Adventures is Paizo's "Victorian Pulp" hardcover. It is not. Wellsprings of information translated into fantasy realms, folks. =-)

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